roger singer | a storm of force & we sing & slide and slap

Betty Carter & John Hicks December 4, 1976 | Photo: Mark Weber


She is an army. A storm of force.
Pain builds the voice of song;
cellophane collapsing,
tires on gravel.

From the stage. A space
conquered. Faces merge in
tides of swaying shoulders.
Warm eyes hold her; strangers
offer hope to her loss.

A song within her; blood beating
with life. The muse of shadows
cradles her hunger. She breathes
to sing; bonds broken, links
Formed. Lights dims with

Smokey Wilson 1978 | Photo: Mark Weber


I can’t take the
alone of
trembling breaths stirred
within me.

The dark side of the blues
sticks the
head of pain into my
like a flower of weakness,
I wilt from

Hurt from the well
of things
gone bad, licks at me;
wounds never healed,
smile open.

Rooms shadowed. An
unmade bed.
Curtains damp from a
new rain. Unopened mail.
Dishes wait for
The blues done got me
rich with flavor;
holding my hand
we sing.

Charlie Haden January 26, 1981 | Photo: Mark Weber


His fingers slap like an angry

aaaaaaadigging in the truth,
aaaaaaapeeling from the eyes
aaaaaaaan image of him.

The bass man plays with strong
arms, dripping sweat from
his life blood of aroma;

aaaaaaahis hair drips wet
aaaaaaafrom jazzy thoughts
aaaaaaawashed clean
aaaaaaawith old pain
aaaaaaaand new tears.

The slide and slap of his fingers
keeps an angry devil waiting;
he laughs at days falling to night,
where dreams of death
chase him down long hallways;

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